When keeping dart frogs the main aim is to create a living, self-sustaining, maintenance-free ecosystem that recreates a small part of the frogs natural environment – in short a ‘micro rainforest’.
The vivarium will contain a variety of plants and mosses plus the beneficial micro organisms that play an important role in sustaining this mini ecosystem.
After the vivarium has been set up for a few months healthy populations of micro and macro organisms including beneficial bacteria will have become established. The more diverse this ‘assemblage’ is the more effective and efficient it becomes with the main processes of waste management within the vivarium.
The smell of a vivarium is the easiest way of assessing its health. A healthy vivarium should have a pleasant fresh smell like woodland after rain or a pile of leaves. A vivarium that smells unpleasant is not working which is probably down to the substrate and needs to have it replaced.
We are considering providing 'bespoke' vivariums fully landscaped and planted up.
Like all our vivs they will be designed to mirror the natural habitats of the the frogs. Working with a knowledge of the species that will inhabit the viv will allow us the opportunity to create a viv that reflects its specific rainforest niche, whether terrestrial or more arboreal.
Here are some examples of our vivariums
Red Frog Beach viv - complete with sand in the substrate
Constructing a Polycarbonate Vivarium
We have found that for the smaller vivarium polycarbonate twin wall sheets offer an easy alternative to glass. There are a number of advantages to using polycarbonate; vivs can be constructed really quickly using only a few tools, polycarb is easy to cut and drill so drainage and misting jet holes don’t present any problems. read more...
What wood can I use in the Vivarium?
We are often asked which species of wood do we use in decorating our vivariums and are there any that shouldn’t be used.
We do not use tropical woods in our vivariums as we feel it is much more sustainable and eco-friendly to use native wood gathered locally. read more...
The functions of the substrate in a dart frog vivarium are to hold humidity, provide a medium for plants to root and grow in and as a drainage system for excess water.
The type of substrate we use is based on an organic mixture which is made up of... read more...
Which Plants Should I Use In My Vivarium?
Here is a list of some tropical plant families or groups that we have, over the years, through trial and error found grow well in the typical vivarium set up. We have chosen these not only for their suitability but also for the ‘tropical’ feel they bring to the vivarium and it includes species such as Bromeliads, Ferns, Selaginellas, Orchids, Begonia, Gesneriads, Aroids and Peperomia. More and more vivariums are becoming show cases for plants as well as frogs. read more...